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Last Sonnet -- John Keats

Guest poem submitted by Anustup Datta:
(Poem #696) Last Sonnet
 Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
 Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
 And watching, with eternal lids apart,
 Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
 The moving waters at their priest-like task
 Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
 Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
 Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
 No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
 Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
 To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
 Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
      Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
      And so live ever--or else swoon to death.
-- John Keats
Of course, this one needs no introduction. I thought of this sonnet, which I
had read and loved in school, when reading "The more loving one" by Auden.
This is a beautiful love poem, and I agree with you that Keats is the most
"natural" poet of the language - whatever he wrote became poetry. Here, the
imagery in the octet is purely Romantic - especially "The moving waters at
their priest-like task/Of pure ablution round earth's human shores"; but the
sestet turns the focus inward and makes it beautifully tender and intimate -
the poet looking at the sleeping form of his beloved and wishing he could
capture the moment forever. Not a startlingly original emotion, nor by any
means a unique conceit, but perfectly and gracefully executed.



"The More Loving One", W. H. Auden, Poem #618

Other Keats poems:

"On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer", Poem #12
"La Belle Dame Sans Merci", Poem #182
"Ode to a Nightingale", Poem #316
"Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell", Poem #33
"To Mrs Reynolds' Cat", Poem #575

29 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Viagra said...

the last sonnet, what a beauty title for a poem, this is one of those that say you, maybe the life end, maybe this is end, but the end is nothing more than a new beginning.

Anonymous said...

Gadha !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

tu maha gadha!!

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